Have you ever made a mistake that you regret?

Many people may sit with deep regret festering in their hearts and minds from past mistakes. Mistakes that feel so terrible, so stupid, that those who made them, seem to believe that they will never be able to forgive themselves.

I am sure I am not the only person who has made mistakes in my life that I really regret.

The silver lining

The truth is that often mistakes can become the greatest lessons in our lives. Here are three important things to remember about mistakes:

  1. Mistakes can become lessons from which we grow
  2. Mistakes do not have to keep you from moving forward
  3. Mistakes do not have to hold you back from your true potential

Getting everything right all the time is impossible. We need to take our mistakes in our stride and use them as an opportunity to learn. If you look at your mistakes in context of the lessons you have learnt from them, the picture becomes much more positive.

There are two great examples of mistake makers in the Bible and there are two great lessons we can learn from the way each of the characters in these stories dealt with their mistake and the consequential regret.

These examples are the stories of Judas and Peter; the disciples of Jesus. Both accounts can be found in Luke 22.

Judas’ mistake started with greed.  He betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Judas was one of Jesus’ trusted of friends. Just think about it – he was the treasurer. You must be a well trusted and upstanding guy to be in charge of the treasury. So we can sort of understand how terrible he must have felt by what he had done.

Peter’s mistake began out of fear. Jesus had even warned Peter that he would deny him 3 times. This is the same Peter that was totally full on for Jesus. The same Peter who cut off the ear of one of the men sent to arrest Jesus. Can you imagine the regret and disgust he felt within himself when he realized that he had just denied Jesus – not only once but three times!

Both men had the same regrets I am sure. So, it is very interesting to see how each of them dealt with their mistakes so very differently.

Judas, in his regret went back to the Sanhedrin and threw the blood money on the floor acknowledging that what he had done was wrong. He felt so bad that he wanted nothing to do with this whole thing anymore. Judas was eaten up by regret of what he had done and he could not come to terms with it and so he ended up killing himself by hanging himself on a tree. You can see this account in Matthew 27.

Peter on the other hand finally came to understand grace and forgiveness through Jesus and that was the moment his life changed for good – A real, deep change that would take Peter through many trials and tribulations all the while proclaiming Jesus as Lord and Saviour.

He never again denied Jesus. He learned his lesson and grew from his mistake.

Peter had a full understanding of God’s forgiveness and with a renewed spirit he made it his mission to teach others about Jesus, forgiveness and grace – even unto his own death.

Judas unfortunately did not get the revelation of Jesus’ grace and forgiveness which could lead to a renewed and changed life.

We can choose today to let our past mistakes go, and we can ask for forgiveness from those whom we wronged and we can dust ourselves off and begin again creating a new ending to our story instead of allowing ourselves to wallow in regret – stuck forever in the past.

The lessons we learn from each of these characters is this, either we allow our mistakes to drive us mad with regret or we pick ourselves up, learn from our mistakes, ask for forgiveness and then change.

All I know is that Jesus can heal any pain that we may be suffering with over past regrets. Jesus will bring you to a place of renewal and forgiveness if you choose to allow Him to. If you are struggling with any regrets from mistakes made in the past, I invite you to click on the link or pop-up and find out more about how you can bring it to Jesus.

Trust me, your life will never be the same again.